February 23, 2012 by Katie
Hey everyone! It’s ALMOST Friday!!! Who’s excited? I sure am! My plans this weekend? Other than running 13 miles (PDR!) and getting plenty of school work done (ugh…) I am doing… NOTHING! I am going to attempt to relax, maybe take a nap! Haha I’m pumped.
But before we get to the weekend, I have a couple things to share. First of all, I’ve recently decided to make a point of reading for pleasure more. I really LOVE to read fiction novels and miss it during the school year. My classes this semester happen to have less reading than most semesters, so I’ve started to read other books during my commute to and from school.
One book that I just finished is called Little Bee by Chris Cleave.
I have to say straight off that I didn’t love this book. I started it about a month ago and kept putting it down because I’d get bored with it. Although it picked up as the book went along, it was really hard to get into in the first place.
The book is told from the point of view of Little Bee, who is a Nigerian girl who escaped her country and headed to England. She left Nigeria after having witnessed her village being torn apart and people killed by an oil company. Before she left she ran into a woman and her husband, who were on vacation, on a beach. She then managed to find them in England, after spending two years in a detention center.
The novel spoke a lot to finding your own strength, being true to yourself, and doing what makes you happy. Although it also showed that people need to be selfish and look after themselves, it also showed the amazing connection that can occur between strangers and what people would do to help others.
The overall message of the book was enjoyable and many parts got me thinking, for example, someone points out that yes, they might be able to help Little Bee, but there are thousands of “Little Bees” out there and you can’t help all of them. If you’ve got the time and patience to get into the book, I do recommend reading it. However, if you need something more gripping to keep your interest, then this book might not be for you.
I also read an article recently that sparked some interest and a conversation between a friend of mine and I, which was about childhood obesity. Since becoming more interested in nutrition and fitness, childhood obesity has become something that is very important to me. I don’t really know how to improve things or make a difference right now, but I feel like somehow it may become part of my future because I really do feel passionate about the issue.
The article, which was on CNN, was called Obese Children Outgrowing Kids’ Clothes and Furniture by Madison Park.
One thing that I found interesting in the article is they discuss that larger children are given special desks and chairs that are being made to look like all the other chairs (or they replace all the desks and chairs) in a classroom to make them feel less ostracized: “At all age,s kids don’t’ want to feel different.”
Now, I completely understand not wanting to make children feel bad about themselves for being different. I do, however, have a problem with people masking the issue of obesity with just buying larger chairs. I don’t believe that children should believe that it’s okay to be obese. I realize that this is a controversial statement, but let me explain myself.
I think it’s incredibly important to boost self esteem and not make kids worry about their weight or how they look, that can lead to very unhealthy mental and physical issues as they get older. I was a camp counselor at an all-girls camp and am all about making children feel good about themselves and believe that they are capable of being and doing whatever they want.
However, I also think it’s important to emphasize health. By covering up the issue of childhood obesity with buying larger furniture, schools are spending money in the wrong place. They should be putting their resources towards healthier foods, more recreational activities, and teaching about healthy lifestyles. The article states that “In the past five years, the biggest seats have been selling better than the standard sizes… These items also cost more.”
I’m not saying that we should point out the differences in obese children and make them feel bad about themselves, I’m saying that we need to find better ways to help them onto a better path for health, otherwise they will always have lower self-esteem as well as many health issues throughout their lives. The key is not to mask the symptoms, but fix the issue at hand.
Whew! I ended up going on about that much longer than I had planned! Sorry for the serious post, but it was something that really got me fired up when I read it! And I don’t live in La La Land, I realize that changing school programs and food is a huge hurtle, but these are just my thoughts!
Have you ever read Little Bee, what did you think?
What are your thoughts on the changing chair sizes, or childhood obesity? Feel free to disagree, I posted this for discussion!